By Thomas Isbell and Lulu Olan’g
Originally published on the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, where our biweekly Afrobarometer Friday series explores Africans’ views on democracy, governance, quality of life, and other critical topics.
If we needed a reminder that taxes are a matter of life and death, covid-19 has provided it. Even highly developed countries are straining to buy vaccines, deliver intensive care for patients and ease the pandemic’s economic shocks. For many less-developed countries in Africa, these life-saving measures are beyond the realm of budgetary possibility.
One reason is the “deadly deficit” of weak domestic resource mobilization — most African countries come up short when it comes to taxation. On average, African countries derive just 17% of gross domestic product from taxes — that’s half as much as the far wealthier countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Africa’s tax deficit limits resources for health care, education and other pillars of economic and social development.
The pandemic, of course, depresses tax revenues along with economic activity, which shrank by 3.7% in sub-Saharan Africa last year. South Africa was the only African country able to provide a stimulus package early in the pandemic. More recently, the country has considered raising taxes — while hoping for improved tax collections — to finance its planned covid-19 vaccination campaign.
How do Africans feel about taxes? Even if corporate tax havens cost Africa billions of dollars each year, the perceptions and actions of ordinary citizens matter, too. South Africa, which is still unpacking years of alleged corruption during the Jacob Zuma administration, provides a case study in how the loss of public faith can “gut” tax collection.
On this front, the news for African governments is not good. Afrobarometer surveys in 18 countries in late 2019 and early 2020 show that support for the government’s right to collect taxes, though still a majority, has weakened over the past decade, while a growing number of citizens say that people are avoiding paying their taxes.
Support for taxation is on the decline
By a 2-to-1 margin (61% vs. 32%), Africans say their governments have the right to make citizens pay taxes. People in Sierra Leone (89%) and Ethiopia (81%) are particularly strong in asserting the legitimacy of taxation, but fewer than 4 in 10 Angolans (36%) and Malawians (37%) agree (see Figure 1).
On average across 18 countries, a majority would even be willing to pay more in taxes to support programs for young people (57%) and to finance their country’s development without relying on foreign loans (64%).
But the view of taxation as legitimate has weakened over the past decade. On average, across 15 countries surveyed regularly since 2011/2013, support for the government’s right to collect taxes has declined by 9 percentage points, led by massive drops in Malawi (-31 percentage points), Tunisia (-19 points), Lesotho (-18 points) and Nigeria (-17 points). Sierra Leone is the only country where the perceived legitimacy of taxation increased (+7 points).
Figure 1: Does government have the right to make people pay taxes? | 18 countries* | 2011-2020
*Angola, Ethiopia, and Gabon were not surveyed in 2011/2013.
Do tax authorities always have the right to make people pay taxes? (% who “agree” or “strongly agree”). Source: Afrobarometer.
More people think others don’t chip in
Over the same period, perceptions that people “often” or “always” avoid paying their taxes have skyrocketed, rising by 20 percentage points across the same 15 countries, from 32% to 52% (see Figure 2).
The change in Ghana is striking: 72% say tax avoidance is common, a 42-point increase from a decade ago. Research by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition confirms that only about 1.5 million of the country’s 6 million eligible taxpayers actually pay taxes.
But all of the countries surveyed by Afrobarometer recorded increases in perceived tax avoidance, including surges of 33 points in Kenya and 32 points in Botswana.
Figure 2: Perception that people often/always avoid paying taxes | 15 countries | 2011-2020
*Angola, Ethiopia, and Gabon were not surveyed in 2011/2013.
In this country, do people avoid paying the taxes that they owe the government? (% “often” or “always”). Source: Afrobarometer.
What makes effective taxation so difficult?
Survey respondents report a range of other challenges for efficient tax administration. Almost half (48%) think that ordinary people pay too much in taxes, while only 12% think they pay too little. Africans are solidly (70%) behind higher tax rates for the wealthy than for ordinary people, a finding that could provide support for effective taxation of the rich as one of the most realistic strategies for funding responses to the covid-19 pandemic.
But about 85% of employment comes from Africa’s informal economy, and we found divided views on whether the government should make sure that small traders and others in the informal sector pay taxes. Even if citizens are willing to pay their taxes, more than 6 in 10 (62%) say it’s difficult to find out what taxes or fees they owe.
An even larger majority (77%) find it difficult to get information about how their governments use the taxes they collect. Only half (49%) believe that their governments use tax revenues for the well-being of their citizens, including just one-third of Nigerians and Angolans (each 34%) (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Government uses taxes for well-being of citizens | 18 countries | 2019/2020
The government usually uses the tax revenues it collects for the well-being of citizens. (%t who “agree” or “strongly agree”). Source: Afrobarometer.
In addition, 35% of survey respondents see “most” or “all” tax officials as corrupt, and a further 43% see “some of them” that way. Only 4 in 10 Africans (39%) say they trust the tax or revenue office “somewhat” or “a lot.”
These perceptions have consequences for how citizens see taxation. In our sample, Africans are more likely to endorse the government’s right to collect taxes if they consider tax officials trustworthy (+13 percentage points) and think that tax revenues are being used to benefit the public (+10 points).
What’s ahead for taxation in Africa?
If better taxation is critical to effective responses to emergencies like covid-19, as well as a prerequisite for the achievement of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, governments have no shortage of potential targets for action, from regulating tax havens to improving and expanding taxpayer education. One promising but thorny current debate focuses on how to tax highly digitalized businesses that are making huge profits without an easily taxable physical presence in many African countries.
But at an everyday level, our findings suggest that governments also face the challenge of demonstrating that tax officials are trustworthy and that tax monies are being well invested to make life better.
Thomas Isbell is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Find him on ResearchGate.
Lulu Olan’g is a Tanzanian freelance researcher and a PhD student at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.
Written by LeAnne Varenkamp of Dream Dinners – The Original Meal Kit Company
Yesterday, was one of those days. Laundry on the couch for the second (or third…) day, a sick toddler, trying to help with high school algebra… Add in the ongoing effects of the seemingly never-ending pandemic, and I pretty much felt like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished! Then, I snapped at my fourth grader. I was feeling “mom guilt” all the way.
So I needed to stop, take a breath, and remind myself about what’s important. As a homeschool mom with eight kids, I believe it is more important to be a parent and to connect with my children rather than get everything on my to-do list done.
Our job is to guide our children on their journey to becoming adults and to teach them how to navigate life when it doesn’t go as expected. We don’t get to choose our circumstances, but we do choose how to manage them.
Right now, we may see our kids all day long, yet we still need to pause and connect as a family, remembering who we are as a family unit. The family dinner is the perfect place to do that. There is something special about sharing a meal. It’s where everyone belongs and participates. It’s where we find joy.
Getting the family together at the same time and getting a meal on the table can be challenging in the best of times, let alone right now. As the owner of a Dream Dinners meal kit franchise, I’ve learned a great deal over the years about the importance of family meals. I’ve also picked up a lot of tips on how to make meals easier and more enjoyable to prepare.
Homeschooling is all about teaching children to run on their own batteries. Too often, moms try to do it all when we should be teaching kids how to be self-sufficient and how to contribute to family life. Involving them in dinner, from planning through clean-up, is a wonderful way to accomplish this. It also creates opportunities for older children to grow by guiding younger siblings through the meal preparation process.
Perhaps even more important is the role dinner plays in building up each family member and helping each one find a place of belonging and security, especially during such a difficult time.
I strongly recommend The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal, co-authored by my dear friend Tina Kuna, who founded Dream Dinners with Stephanie Allen. It’s available here on Amazon.
Stay well and bon appétit!
Hi, I’m LeAnne Varenkamp! I’m married to my kindergarten sweetheart, and I am mom to eight awesome kids. I also work outside the home for a great company whose mission is to help families gather around the dinner table. As a family, we have a heart for community and serving others, and we are always on the lookout for ways to encourage people to thrive. Right now, our homeschooling adventure includes restoring our 100+ year old farmhouse. For more information about Dream Dinners, please visit my website.
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The enchanted additional word “e” caused many confusion and most of the individuals considered it as “electronic”. No, for the VSOP soldered smaller chip to the board, it is contextualized as embedded. Enough with this catchphrase, let’s set up the device for an eSim.
If it’s a yes then let’s move forward on installation of eSim. This blog will look into:
There are some prerequisites (irrespective you install eSim on iOS or Android), so the necessary notes entails:
For Android, there are two ways to add an eSim. However, the steps may vary per device.
Though most of us considered it to be the final part, and it is the finale, we’ve a bonus for “people who are working on their online privacy”. Sorry for sharing the spoiler above but are you interested?Source
Do you know people who are still concerned that homeschooled children aren’t well socialized? Who believe that homeschoolers don’t know how to get along with others, have friends, and deal with real life? Or maybe you feel strongly about it, but your husband does not support homeschooling.
I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true that homeschooled children aren’t well socialized! In fact, the truth is that many homeschooled students are extremely well socialized. (I hate the term socialized! But because that’s the term commonly used to refer to how well children and teens do in social situations, I’ll use it here.)
Over my 20+ years of homeschooling, I’ve come in contact (both in real life and online) with many homeschooling parents whose relatives and friends are concerned that their homeschooled children aren’t properly socialized. They worry that these students won’t know how to get along with other children. That they’ll be awkward teenagers. (Imagine that!!) That they won’t be able to go to college and get married and have jobs in the “real world.” But it’s just not true.
The strange thing is that the majority of homeschooled students are extremely well socialized! In fact, I know more children who go to public or private schools who are socially awkward, extremely shy, don’t have many friends, and aren’t able to carry on a conversation with other students (much less with adults) than homeschooled students who fit this description. Many homeschooled children, in fact, are socialized in ways that are much more beneficial to them (both now and in the future) than students who are socialized by public or even private schools. In fact, part of the reason many people homeschool is to protect our children from the world’s standards, and that can be a very good thing!
Yes, there are some homeschooled students who are socially awkward and shy. However, there are also some public and private school students who fit the same description. In other words, people generally blame the awkwardness or shyness of homeschooled students on the fact that a particular student is homeschooled, yet when students go to public or private schools, they don’t blame those students’ social awkwardness on the fact that those students attend public or private school.
After having met and gotten to know homeschooling families all across the United States and in my local area, it is my experience that the majority of homeschooled students are able to get along with, talk with, and otherwise interact with people of all ages–not just those in their own peer group.
Think about it this way: Most students who go to public or private schools interact with students of the same age/grade level all day. This isn’t the case with homeschooled students. When we homeschoolers get together for field trips, co-op classes, sports, play days, book clubs, and so on, we usually bring all of our children with us. And of course we parents are in attendance too. This means our children are exposed to babies, toddlers, young children, older children, tweens, teens, parents, and grandparents on a regular basis.
It’s not unusual to see children of all ages chatting and playing with other children who are older or younger than themselves. They don’t think they can only be friends with other children who are the same age and grade level. One year at a family reunion, I actually heard a pre-teen girl complain repeatedly that she didn’t have anyone to play with that day. I looked around and saw ten or twelve other children there, so I pointed out that fact. She quickly let me know that she couldn’t play with those children because none of them were in fifth grade like her. But many homeschoolers, on the other hand, could comparatively be called socialization geniuses!
It’s not unusual to see tweens and teens helping to look after the toddlers and young children when we have a get-together. And it’s also quite common to see children and teens talking with parents or grandparents–their own and others’ too! Why is this? Because this is real life!
When our students graduate from our homeschools and go to college or get jobs, they won’t go to college or to work with only other people of the same age! They’ll be expected to be able to work with people of all ages. They’ll be expected to get along with and communicate with others of different ages.
In fact, I have to share some examples from my own family with you. My youngest child (who has been homeschooled since the beginning) is now 18 years old. From the time she was about 12 until she was 17, she served as an assistant to an art teacher in classes for children from kindergarten through about third grade. My daughter is a bit of an introvert, but she loves art and she loves children, and the combination of the two made her look forward to helping in those art classes for quite a few years! In fact, the art teacher was sad to see her go when she started her first “real” job and was no longer available to help teach the art classes.
And yes, that’s right. My poor unsocialized homeschooler started working at her first real job. (Haha!) She now works a couple of days a week at a locally-owned health food store. Because it’s a small store, she often has to work alone. She’s had to learn about many products, their uses, and where they’re found in the store. She has to talk with customers to find out what they need and to show them where to find products. She helps customers of all ages from teenagers to adults to elderly people, and she handles all of them very well.
She also works in the sound booth at our church with a couple of other teenagers, babysits on a regular basis, and fills in for the youth Sunday school teacher. And the truth is, being homeschooled is what allows her to do many of these things! Homeschooling allows her to build time into her schedule to handle these responsibilities.
It makes me proud that she’s able to get along with children and adults of all ages. It makes me happy that she enjoys the company of many other people–not just those of her own age/grade. And it’s fantastic that she has so many opportunities to build social skills in so many real-life situations. This should be the goal for all children–whether they homeschool or not!
What I really want you to take away from this article is that, even though the choice to homeschool sometimes leads people to (mistakenly!) worry that our children won’t be well socialized, the truth is that they usually are. They are being prepared for real life in a world with people of all ages. And as parents, that’s what we’re here to do–prepare our children to live their lives as adults. So next time a well-meaning friend or relative expresses concern that your children aren’t well socialized or you find yourself being criticized for homeschooling, remind them that you’re preparing them for real life. And you’re doing a great job of it!
P.S. – If you’d like to see some research-based data about homeschooling, please take a look at our article Updated Homeschool Research by NHERI. You’ll be happy to find that there is research-based information supporting the effectiveness of homeschooling and the real-life success of adults who were homeschooled.
As homeschool moms, we tend to look at everything as a teaching opportunity, and starting a business is no different! We recently took the Rainmakers 7-day challenge to start an e-commerce business. We loved it so much we also joined their mastermind group! Want to find out more? You can take their 7-day challenge too. We believe you can start a business and teach entrepreneurship at the same time!
Wendy and I have always had a desire to find a way to help homeschool moms supplement their income. Why? Because we often hear from homeschool moms who are struggling.
We hear how many moms are having to work outside the home and the stress it adds to your homeschool experience.
We hear how hard it is to work on somebody else’s schedule and homeschool around it.
We hear how you want to make a living while working around your other many responsibilities.
So we have been hunting for an idea that we believed in and wanted to do ourselves and would want to share with you… and we have found it! We are doing it ourselves! Did you see our diamond painting kits that we just launched this month? Those are due to the Rainmakers challenge! They are offering a new 7-day challenge starting on Thursday, February 25, and we really want to encourage you to join it! It only costs $27, and you will get the tools that very first weekend to make your $27 back, immediately.
Take the Rainmakers challenge. You have nothing to lose!
I know you have lots of questions!! We did too. Each day of the challenge Stephen and Chelsey, the challenge leaders, cover a different topic related to starting an online e-commerce business. If you have teenagers, get them to do the challenge with you! Here’s what you will learn each day:
Here are a few moms who are launching products right now! They are super excited to give away their products and to share their journeys with us. We hope you will:
Now let’s get to the fun part… the giveaways! One thing to note, as new Amazon sellers, these moms will want you to purchase the item you win on Amazon and then they will reimburse you for the entire amount. We are sure they will do it, because we know these ladies… but just in case, we want you to know, WE will reimburse even if they don’t. So no worries about that! And if you love the products, please be sure to leave reviews!! They are the lifeblood of new businesses starting on Amazon and only about 20% of buyers actually leave reviews.
This is us! Wendy and I started Teaching Toys and launched diamond painting kits as our very first products. But they are not just diamond painting kits, we included beautiful unit studies for each African animal in the series. We hope you love them so much, you want to get them all!
Astrid is the creator of the Bookends for Kids. You can learn more about her story in my interview with her on Facebook. (click here)
Emily is the creator of the Animal Alphabet Wall Decor for Kids. Learn more about why she chose this product. (click here)
Shandi is a precious young mom who started the Rohmi brand. The name of her brand means something very special to her. See why she chose this name for her brand and learn about her beautiful Multipurpose Modern Leather Mats!
Falcon is the creator of the Tooth Fairy Pillow, and she is determined for this business to be strictly an Amazon business. I call her aggressively passive… see why!
Diana saw a need for extra-large baskets for toys. Learn more about Diana and her products here.
Mamy created this product for her kids. Where she lives she could not draw hopscotch squares on the sidewalk!! Find out why they couldn’t draw on the sidewalks and more about her product in this interview on Facebook.
Cheri was homeschooled along with her two brothers. All three are now doctors! She married someone who was homeschooled who is a lawyer. Cheri is the only interview where I cried. Cheri is precious, her story is so encouraging, and her mission will touch your heart! Meet Cheri and hear some of her story here.
Kristin saw a gap in the offerings on Amazon for creative craft kits, and her desire is to fill the gap! She has created two so far. Learn about her kits and her story here.
Flore created a fun little Tooth Fairy Pillow as her product. You can learn more about her story here.
Cindy’s husband owns a repair shop, so her products are created from needs she sees every day in that business. All of her products are directed at Ladies Kar Care. Learn about her Amazon journey here.
Rachael was part of the June challenge with me. She has not only launched 7 products, but she is also now a Rainmaker coach!! I love her energy and her story. You can meet Rachael here.
Nicole has an interesting story too. Her story starts with her serving our country in the military. Find out more about her and the Tooth Fairy Pillow here.
Jeni is so creative and organized! I wish I could hire her to help get my house in order! Learn more about her story and how she came up with the idea for her pom pom garland here.
Melissa is a serial entrepreneur!! She has started multiple brands and is really finding her groove already! It is exciting to watch her journey and see what she is up to next. Meet Melissa and learn about how she got started here.
We hope these moms inspired you and that you are excited about starting a new journey… one where you can start a business and teach entrepreneurship at the same time!
TGIF my readers and welcome back! I assume that our previous blog helped you understand what eSIMs are and its characteristics.
So what is within this blog then? You may find that soon, hold on. This time I didn’t purchase anything new, though.
P.S my apple watch is doing wonders, guess what? I crossed 7,018 steps using the accelerometer synced with my health app. Is it an achievement?
NOTE: Your eSIMs can be installed only once. After successful installation, do NOT DELETE/REMOVE your eSIM from your smartphone.
In principle, eSIM should mean that you can go to another country and simply add to your phone a roaming eSIM while retaining access to your primary “local” number. This is deemed to be one of the drawbacks at the moment, since, for example, if you change SIMs abroad, you can’t retrieve your own number.
On the brighter side, it eliminates potential roaming chances abroad. This allows individuals to shift towards better operators in an area where signals could be an issue. This way an individual can quickly free up space to extend the battery life of the device or to add new features. This way they could reduce identity theft risks as well.
Wide adoption of eSIMs would be inevitable when customers and operators begin to see the advantages.
One of the benefits that phone manufacturers provide is that we can get smaller devices so there is no need to fit a SIM card or the tray that carries it. Networks also do not need to generate or sell loads of SIM cards.
For other computers, such as laptops and tablets, eSIMs will also be outstanding, where flawless connectivity will become the standard.
It is said that eSIMs would allow more smart devices simply because eSIMs do not need too much space within a system, enabling fitness trackers to perceive a stand-alone 4G or 5G connectivity in a way they were only unable to do before.
As good the question is, imagine you are provisioned with an eSim and physical (traditional) sim. You’re then asked to integrate both to two different network operators. Now your device, for instance, an iPhone will simultaneously display both networks on the device. Imagine you have added two physical sim cards resting conveniently in your slot, but in reality there is an embedded sim with a conventional one.
Customers would be able to answer calls and texts on both numbers if the handset is in standby and both the SIM and eSIM are supplied. You can then select a “default” line, to make calls, use along with iMessage (plus) FaceTime. The other line is for both SMS and voice only.
Tip: In the third series we will share hassle-free step-by-step installation methods.
Conversely, you can only choose Use Secondary for cellular data – useful if you are overseas and use eSIM for local data.
More than one eSIM can be installed on your iPhone, but you can only use one at a point.
By tapping Settings > Cellular > Cellular Plans and tapping the plan you want to use, you can turn to eSIMs. It’s Mobile Data if you’re in the UK. Tap Turn ON, then on this line.
NOTE: We will cover installation in detail in series 03, this Wednesday. Keep an eye!
P.S There’d be a BONUS!
To be continued, folks. We’re reaching the final part soon.Source
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